Gold Winner - Ji Chao, an undergraduate of Wuhan Institute of Technology was entitled "Golden Scissors". [Watch Video]
By Alexandra Suhner,
[London], November 15, 2008 - My reason for traveling to China last month was to be a judge in the 2nd China International Fashion (Colleges) Design Grand Prix.
The competition took place in Wuhan, the eighth biggest city in China (that may not sound very big to you, but its population is nearly 7 million, and the surrounding area bring it up to 60 million.)
This is one of the biggest competitions of its kind in China and a total of 30 student designers from 11 different countries took part in this contest, competing for the "Golden Scissors Award", the most prestigious award for students in China's fashion industry. Supported by the Government of Wuhan, China and organized by New Silk Road Company (China), the competition encourages collaboration between students, designers, educational institutions and textile and garment manufacturers. The contest also provides an arena for students from around the world to showcase their talents and explore career opportunities in China's fashion industry.
China has a reputation for being good at putting on large events (did you see the Olympics opening ceremony?) and this competition was no exception. One thing I found unusual was the way the Chinese put on fashion shows. Rather than using a catwalk format, with the models walking in a straight line, they use a pageant format, which involves a lot of choreography (well done to the models for remembering it all!)
The clothes were a mix of standards, and frankly there was very little in the middle. As expected, there were quite a few "scary" evening pieces, or completely overdone outfits that should have been in a costume competition, not fashion. On the other hand, there were quite a large number of VERY talented designers in the competition, and thankfully the judges all agreed on the winners.
China has a history of being a manufacturing country, and there has been a lot of talk recently about its potential to begin exporting creativity as well. Some of these students showed some amazing potential and I look forward to seeing how the country evolves in the next few years. There is clearly no lack of design talent there, and if they can nurture it and promote it, then China can easily become a competitive creative force in the fashion world.